Movement wants to stop Inland Northwest coal trains

SPOKANE, Wash. - A grassroots movement is growing in Spokane to stop coal trains from traveling through the city and across the Northwest.

With the demand for coal rising in Asia, several energy companies are proposing to mine coal in Montana and ship it overseas. 

The proposal calls to ship coal by train through Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.  And, eventually to several export terminals along the West Coast.

Movement wants to stop Inland Northwest coal trains

On Friday, more than a dozen activists and environmentalists met in Spokane to learn how to peacefully protest the proposal.

"For me it's more about just being heard. Its about stopping these companies because it is a livability issue for me and my family," said Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky with Portland Rising Tide, a grassroots organization 

 Zimmer-Stucky said if the proposal goes through, the Northwest could see in excess of 40 coal trains crossing the state a day.  Zimmer-Stucky is concerned about the uncovered coal loads impacting air quality and local economy.

 Peabody, one of the nation's largest energy companies behind the proposal, said coal export will mean more jobs.

Even so, local communities aren't jumping on board just yet.  In April, the Sandpoint City Council and the mayor passed a resolution saying they are deeply concerned about the potential hazards of increased coal train traffic.